Bee Roots for 2024-05-08

The table provides clues for the roots of words in today's NY Times Spelling Bee. You're responsible for prefixes, suffixes, tense changes, plurals, doubling consonants before suffixes, and alternate spellings of roots. An exception: since Sam won't allow S, when the root contains an S, the clue may be for a plural or suffixed form. "Mice" for example. If a clue isn't self-explanatory, try googling it. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle
  • Letters: R/IMNOPT
  • Words: 56
  • Points: 212
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: The Federal Group USA

Table content

  • with first two letters of answer and length
answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
1IM6Nautical “left,” harbor, or wine from Lisbon
1IM7Make a hard copy of computer data, or stamp ink on paper
1IN5Announce upcoming thing (next guest), or prelude (beginner’s course, book preface), slang abbr.
1IR4Element Fe (atomic number 26), or hot clothes presser, noun/verb
1MI5Less important (… detail) or musical chord type, adj., or an underage person
1MI5Sweet Japanese cooking wine made from fermented rice
1MI6Looking glass (“Who’s the fairest of them all?”)
1MO7Computer screen, to observe, or lizard type
1MO4Othello (“The …”), noun; or tract of open uncultivated upland (British noun); or tie up a boat, verb
1MO4Poetic start of day, NOT lament the dead; + period before midday
1MO5Device (electric or gasoline) that produces movement (in a car, e.g.)
1NI5Slang abbr. for chem. used as explosive & heart med.
1NO4“Black” in French; or dark mystery genre (film …)
1NO4Edible seaweed, eaten either fresh or dried in sheets
1NO4Standard (noun), or former SNL Weekend Update comic Macdonald
1PO4Lacking $, or worse than ideal
2PO4,5Smutty images
1PO4Nautical “left,” harbor, or wine from Lisbon
1PO7Section of a whole, or food helping
1PR10Section of a whole, or food helping
1PR4Stiffly formal and respectable (… and proper)
1PR5Of top quality or importance; the upper part in a duet (music)
1PR5Spend time making minor adjustments to one's hair, makeup, or clothes
1PR5Make a hard copy of computer data, or stamp ink on paper
1PR5Protein particle thought to cause mad cow disease
1PR5Existing before in time, adj. (Sorry, I have a … engagement)
1PR4Formal dance held in springtime
1PR5A piece of publicity or advertising, especially in the form of a short film or video
1PR9Further the progress of something; raise someone's rank, noun form is a pangram
1PR6Done without delay, adj.; or assist or encourage a hesitating speaker, verb/noun; or text output by a computer to indicate what input it needs, noun/verb
1PR6Quickly, or Spanish for “soon”
1PR4Support (… up), verb; on-stage object or ballot initiative abbr., noun
1PR6Subatomic particle with positive charge
1RI4Civil unrest, noun; or to rampage, verb
1RO4Play roughly and energetically, verb/noun
1RO4Chamber of a house (kitchen, bed-…, bath-…), noun/verb
1RO4Plant anchor that sucks up water
1RO4Indian flatbread that isn’t naan
1RO6Spiral pasta, fusilli
1RO5Device or blade that spins
1TO5Shinto shrine gate, NOT double plural of donut shapes
1TO4Ripped, adj. or past participle
1TO4Bull, Spanish
1TO6Lethargy, not quite hibernation
1TO4Legal wrong, NOT pastry
1TO7Italian ice cream with rum, almonds, & cherries
1TO4Donut shape
1TR4Neaten (hair) by snipping off ends
1TR4Musical group of 3 (Kingston …)
1TR4Journey, noun (you’ve won a … to Paris!), or stumble (… over your own 2 feet), verb
1TR6Son of Poseidon, largest Neptune moon; mollusk with a tall spiral shell
1TR5Walk heavily/trudge, slang
1TR5Soldiers (usually plural), or unit of Boy or Girl Scouts
1TR4Fast walking pace for horses or people

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It follows in Kevin Davis' footsteps. The original set of 4,500 clues came from him, and they still make up about three quarters of the current clue set.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. As logophiles, we are pretty good at putting on prefixes and suffixes, changing tense, and forming plurals (including Latin plurals!). The clues cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from each root. For example, if a puzzle includes ROAM and ROAMING, there will be a clue for ROAM and a count of 2. The root may not appear in the puzzle at all; for example, the 2021-07-23 Bee included ICED, DEICE, and DEICED. For such a puzzle, the clue would be for ICE with a word count of 3.

The Bee Roots approach involves judgement sometimes. For example, if a puzzle includes LOVE, LOVED, and LOVELY, how many roots are needed to cover them? LOVE and LOVED share the root LOVE, certainly, but LOVELY is tricky. LOVE is part of its etymology, but by now, the word means "exquisitely beautiful," which is a lot farther from the meaning of LOVE than swithcing to past tense. I'm inclined to treat LOVE and LOVELY as separate roots. You may not agree, which is fine. Another thing we logophiles share is a LOVE of arguing about words on Twitter.

A few words can have one meaning as a suffixed form and another as a stand-alone word. EVENING, for example. In those cases I will use the meaning that I think is more common.

One last complication, until another one pops up: a few roots have multiple spellings, for example LOLLYGAG and LALLYGAG. Depending on the day's letters, and maybe even the editor's whims, one or both could be in the puzzle's answer list. With such roots, you could see a word count of 2, even if there are no applicable prefixes or suffixes.

I will do my best to keep this site up to date and helpful (I hope). Check it out, and tweet feedback to @donswartwout Tweet to @donswartwout